How to Remove White Stencil From A Sweatshirt

If you have an old sweatshirt that you'd like to give a new look, you might want to know how to remove white stencil from a sweatshirt. First you will have to determine whether the "stencil" is embroidered or sewn on, made up of iron on decals, or made of fabric paint. If  the white stencil on your sweatshirt is embroidered or sewn on, you can pick out the stitches with a seam ripper. (Find one at any fabric  store or any store with a sewing section.) If you are dealing with iron-on transfers  or fabric paint there are different methods for removal.

Iron-On Transfers.

  1. Pick it off. There are several ways to remove an iron on transfer from a sweatshirt. If it's starting to peel, or if you can get at an edge, you can pick it off. This can be very time consuming, but eventually you can remove a white stencil this way.
  2. Try tape. Press clear packing tape over the iron on transfer and press down hard with a fingernail or a dull knife. Peel back the tape and the transfer will (hopefully) peel off with it. You may still have to pick some off, but this method can help remove large chunks of white stencil.
  3. Heat it up.  It may seem counterintuitive, but you can use an iron to remove an iron-on transfer. Put parchment paper over the transfer, and iron it, Then use tweezers to remove. The drawback to this is that the adhesive may stay behind. In that case
  4. Chemical Solutions. Another method for removing an iron on transfer is to apply rubbing alcohol with a swab to the back of the transfer (inside of the shirt). This can dissolve the adhesive so you can peel the white stencil off in large chunks. It can also help remove the residual glue. Another trick to try is brake parts cleaner (from the automotive store). However, you may want to test a hidden spot to make sure this won't damage your sweatshirt first.

Fabric Paint.

  1. Pick it off. Sound familiar? This method can work on fabric paint too, but is just as painstakingly slow.
  2. Nail Polish Remover.  This can be very effective for removing a white stencil made of fabric paint. However, you will want to use this with care as certain materials will simply dissolve. Test a spot first.
  3. Soak, scrape, and spray. Combine 1 tbsp. of liquid hand sanitizer with 1 tbsp. rubbing alcohol. Soak a clean cotton cloth in the solution for several seconds. Rub the fabric paint vigorously.  Scrape with a dull knife. If any remains, spray with hair spray, let sit for a few minutes and wash as you normally would. Spray the remaining fabric paint with hair spray, and allow it to sit for three to five minutes. 

Hopefully one of these methods will leave your sweatshirt free of that unwanted white stencil. If not, you can always try tie-dying! Good luck!

show comments

What Others Are Reading Right Now.